Anti-nationalism

just people

burn your flag

Anti-nationalism denotes the sentiments associated with the opposition to nationalism, arguing that it is undesirable or dangerous. Some anti-nationalists are humanitarians or humanists who pursue an idealist form of world community, and self-identify as world citizens.

They reject chauvinism, jingoism, and militarism, and want humans to live in peace rather than perpetual conflict. They do not necessarily oppose the concepts of countries, nation states, national boundaries, cultural preservation or identity politics.

Some anti-nationalists oppose all types of nationalism, including ethnic nationalism among oppressed minority groups. This strain of anti-nationalism typically advocates the elimination of national boundaries. Variations on this theme are often seen in Marxist theory. Marx and Engels rejected nationalism as a whole, believing ‘the working class have no country.’ More recently, certain groups descended from the Maoist tradition of Marxism have moved towards this fiercely anti-nationalist stance in a different way than Trotskyists, saying that although it may be a painful and unpopular position to hear, ultimately opposing all nationalism strengthens proletarian internationalism. Many Trotskyists, however, such as Chris Harman, were critical of nationalism while advocating support for what they saw as progressive national struggles.

In recent times, Islamism has been described as anti-nationalist movement, calling for unity of all Muslims and discarding the notion of nationality. Anarchism has developed a critique of nationalism that focuses on nationalism’s role in justifying and consolidating state power and domination. Through its unifying goal, nationalism strives for centralization, both in specific territories and in a ruling elite of individuals, while it prepares a population for capitalist exploitation. Within anarchism, this subject has been treated extensively by German anarchist Rudolf Rocker and American author Fredy Perlman. In his ‘Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life,’ Arthur Schopenhauer rejected nationalism, seeing it as an abandonment of personal identity. The philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche can also be seen as opposing all forms of nationalism, although he opposed virtually every other form of social movement and ideology as well. Søren Kierkegaard’s philosophy is a criticism and vehement rejection of Christian nationalism.

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